Diabetes charity funding to advance human clinical trial of implantable medical device
Global charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ltd (JDRF; UK) is to grant up to US$2.45 million to Sernova Corp. (London, ON, Canada) to support a US clinical trial of the Cell Pouch System™ (CPS) technology for the treatment of hypoglycemic-unawareness patients with severe Type 1 diabetes, which will be carried out in the latter half of 2016.
Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening autoimmune disease where the immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in inability to regulate glucose levels and potentially death, unless the patient takes insulin daily. In order to help support development of longer-term or even curative therapies, Type 1 diabetes charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ltd (JDRF; UK) has announced that it is entered into a research funding agreement with Sernova Corp. (London, ON, Canada) to advance human clinical trials of the company’s proprietary Cell Pouch System™ (CPS) technology, which is aimed at the treatment of hypoglycemia-unawareness patients with severe Type 1 diabetes.
“Sernova and JDRF are tightly aligned in our vision to see cell-based therapies developed to reduce disease burden and significantly increase the quality of life for people living with Type 1 diabetes,” explained Dr Philip Toleikis, Sernova’s President and CEO. “We see our work with JDRF on this important clinical trial as an exciting opportunity to more rapidly advance Sernova’s therapies to treat people with diabetes and address many of the shortcomings and challenges of current insulin therapy.”
Sernova is a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company aiming to develop therapies chronic diseases including diabetes and hemophilia, and aims to carry out the human trial in the second half of this year at a major US transplantation center. Their product, CPS, is a highly vascularized, cell macroencapsulated implantable and scalable device that could potentially reduce or entirely remove the need for insulin injections – at present the only available treatment for Type 1 diabetes.
Injection-based glucose management requires management of factors such as stress and diet – owing to all the different factors, many patients struggle to manage their glucose/insulin levels correctly and are at risk of diabetic episodes or long-term diabetes-related health complications such as kidney and heart diseases.
To date since it began, JDRF has invested nearly US$2 billion in diabetes research funding, including Seronova’s preclinical trial with Massachusetts General Hospital. Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO, commented: “JDRF is excited about this collaboration, which advances research in encapsulated cell therapies, and will continue to drive progress toward our mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat Type 1 diabetes and its complications.”